Junior road bikes

Nov 18

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Review: DMT Marathon children’s SPD shoes

DMT sell two types of SPD shoe in children’s sizes; a MTB and a road version. They are one of the few manufacturers that make cycling shoes small enough for children, ranging from an EU 33 to 36.

Earlier this year we bought a pair of DMT Marathon 2.0 MTB shoes, in a garish white with fluorescent yellow accents, for our daughter. I personally prefer the MTB shoes over the road ones for children as they are more versatile. They can be happily used on the road with a pair of SPD pedals, and double-sided pedals have the advantage of helping children gets used to clipping in. Plus, the shoes can be used for cyclocross or MTB riding, without having to buy another pair.

When the shoes arrived and were taken out of the box I was impressed. These are ‘proper’ adult shoes, but shrunk down to small sizes. There is no compromise in quality or spec.

In the 6 months since she got them, my daughter has used them for everything from national circuit races, training on the track to wet and muddy cyclocross. The shoes are holding up really well, with hardly any signs of use. The leather on the toe has cracked a little, but that is down to my daughter scraping her feet along rather than the quality of the shoes. I expect the shoes to have many months (even years) of life left in them by the time my daughter grows out of them…

…which is the only problem. Due to the limited number of competitors in the market, the cost is relatively high (approx £65). In fact a similar cost to the same spec adult shoe. Which wouldn’t be a problem if the shoes were for a teenager whose feet had stopped growing! There is the potential to only get 12 months max out of these shoes before my daughter needs a new size. Sell on costs are reasonable via eBay, but cycling shoes are an expensive outlay.

Nov 11

Youth Cycle Sport | The home of cycle racing for young riders and their parents -

If, like me, you have children who enjoy competing in cycle sport, the newly launch Youth Cycle Sport website is well worth a read and follow.

Oct 11

Worx junior bikes

These new junior bikes from Worx look fantastic, and having seen a test one being ridden at local races they seem to ride well too. Looking forward to hearing more about them. Full details on the Worx website.

Sep 12

New junior bikes from Formeula -

A new range of junior cyclocross/road bikes from Formeula. Released in 24”, 26” and 700c versions they certainly look the part and the pricing is comparable with others in the market.

A new bike build. A first 700c wheeled road bike for the boy, based around a 42cm Ridley frame. He isn’t quite big enough for the frame yet, but it won’t be long…

A new bike build. A first 700c wheeled road bike for the boy, based around a 42cm Ridley frame. He isn’t quite big enough for the frame yet, but it won’t be long…

Mar 12

Discussion about children's SPD shoes -

Finding SPD (or any type of clipless) cycling shoes in children’s sizes is really hard. There are not many options and I’ll be writing a post shortly on what I’ve found.

Feb 22

Cycling clothes for kids. The essentials.

I’ve spotted a few posts on cycling forums recently, from parents looking for information on cycling clothes for their children.

What are the essentials? The bare minimum for any cycling, even riding around the garden or up and down the street, would be:

* Helmet
* Gloves

If your child is wanting to ride a bit more than just around the garden or the park, then you might want the following:

* Padded shorts
* Cycling top
* Thin base layer (to wear under cycling top)

As they become more keen they might need:

* Padding cycling tights
* Long sleeve cycling top (for layering)
* Cycling jacket (wind and/or water proof)
* Range of gloves (mitts and long finger)
* Cycling shoes
* Overshoes
* Thin skull cap (for wearing under helmets on cold days)

This might sound a lot, but think about what your child would need for taking part in other sports? Sure you can kick a football about down the park in jeans, t-shirt and trainers, but if you want to play football properly you need the right clothing. The same applies for cycling.

But you really don’t have to spend a fortune these days. Kids cycling clothes used to be really expensive, with limited choice. But the arrival of Decathlon into the UK from France has paved the way for inexpensive, good quality, children’s cycling clothes. My children have Decathlon shorts, tights, gloves and jackets — all the items which are grown out of quickly or easily ruined in a crash. Quality is just fine for the money and all the features you would expect are there. We offset the savings by spending more on cycling club jerseys, which tend to have a higher cost associated.

I’ve noticed that Islabikes are now doing children’s clothing, alongside their bikes. I’ve not seen any but I’m assuming the quality is good (perhaps better than Decathlon but the cost is greater too).

Children’s cycling shoes are particularly difficult, but I’ll cover that in a separate post.

Feb 04

Islabikes to start making track bikes again? -

If you are interested in junior track bikes, then write to Islabikes and get your name down. If they have enough interest they might start making the Reiss range again.

Jan 08

An increasing marketplace

The availability of junior road bikes has been up and down over the past 10 years or so. There was a time when manufacturers (Giant, Bianchi etc) had a single 24” wheel version of an adult road bike in their range.

These were great bikes; aluminium frames, well put together and a good component spec. Many are still being used by young cyclists today, and will continue to be used for years to come. Over time many manufacturers stopped making them, I expect as the demand was not there as kids wanted MTBs and road bikes were not cool. You could still find junior road bikes from Felt, Kona (cyclocross bike), Fuji, but they were rare and priced accordingly. Islabikes stole a march on the market and became the place to get a small wheel road bike if you wanted one.

Fast forward to now and road bikes are cool again. Manufacturers who stopped making their one junior road bike in the range are starting up again. Yes, they are still expensive, especially when compared to an equivalent (or better) specced Islabike. But the more kids road bikes on the market the better in my opinion.